Ireland's RBS 6 Nations home venue could be called into action a month earlier than expected if Leinster and Ulster's Heineken Cup clashes are threatened by the freezing weather.
Declan Kidney's side are set to launch their title defence against Italy at Croke Park on February 6, but the weather could see rugby at the national stadium as early as this weekend.
Ulster are due to host Edinburgh at Ravenhill on Friday night, with defending champions Leinster scheduled to take on Brive at RDS less than 14 hours later.
Munster and Leinster contested their Heineken Cup semi-final at the venue last term and stadium manager Peter McKenna insists Croke Park would be ready if needed.
“If the weather was as it is currently we’d be fine but if it got significantly worse then you’d have to revisit it,” he said. “But I wouldn't see that happening.”